Traps are mostly set at Hatirjheel, Mogbazar, Khilgaon, and Kuril flyovers, say aggrieved bikers
Organized crime rings are creating 'death traps' for motorcyclists on the flyovers of Dhaka. They find secluded spots on the flyovers and tie nylon threads to the railing on both sides, which is not visible to speeding drivers.
Countless accidents have occurred as many people fell victim to these traps.
As soon as a motorcycle is overturned, the members of the gangs, lying in wait, rush to the spot and snatch the motorcyclists’ money and other valuables.
The traps are mostly set at Hatirjheel, Mogbazar, Khilgaon, and Kuril flyovers, said some aggrieved bikers.
Several riders were seriously injured when their hands and throats were pulled by the strong nylon thread tied on these flyovers. Motorcyclists fear that if the members of the gangs are not quickly identified and arrested, people could even fall into such a trap and die.
Some of the victims’ accounts
Tanvir Jobayer, a student of a private university, lost his mobile phone and wallet after becoming a victim of such a trap on July 10.
He dropped his friend off in Rampura at midnight. On his way back to Dhanmondi via Hatirjheel, he fell into a yarn trap on the Modhubag Flyover.
Tanvir shared his experience: “On the way down from the Modhubag Flyover in Hatirjheel, something got stuck in one of my hands.
“I stopped my motorcycle as I was in pain and saw that I had a cut on my hand.
“As soon as I stopped the motorcycle, some people came out of nowhere and surrounded me. They snatched my mobile phone and wallet by threatening me with a knife. Before I could figure out what was happening, they were gone.”
Sheikh Rayhan Kabir had almost a similar experience on the evening of August 12 on Kuril Flyover.
At around 6:30pm, his hand was cut after it was stuck in a nylon thread. Rather than stopping to see what had happened, he left the place before anyone could mug him.
Journalist Md Hussain Tareq fell victim to the trap in broad daylight on July 11.
“I was going to Karwan Bazar from Minto Road via the Moghbazar Flyover and I took a left turn towards my destination. The left lane of the flyover was quite empty. It was raining at that time,” said Tareq.
He continued: “As soon as I took a left turn from the main flyover, a nylon yarn got wrapped around my throat and hands. There was a cut on my left hand. I barely escaped a big accident.”
Mahmud Reza Tofur had the skin of his throat cut after falling into a nylon yarn trap in the Jatrabari section of the Mayor Hanif Flyover.
“I survived that day by the grace of God. I was riding my bike at 60 kmph on the Jatrabari-Gulistan flyover.
“Suddenly, I felt a thread around my neck; I was in a lot of pain. I somehow balanced the bike with one hand, while holding the thread with the other hand, so that I could save my neck. The strain of the thread was so great that I had cuts on my hand and fingers,” he said.
He added: “The helmet reduced the pressure of the thread on the neck. Otherwise, the neck vein could have been cut if the pressure was even a bit higher.”
What’s being done by law enforcers?
Police are aware of the traps on the flyovers in the capital. A policeman in Hatirjheel also fell victim to such a trap, said his colleague.
Requesting anonymity, a police member of Hatirjheel police station said these traps are set by youths of the respective areas.
“They mug people whenever they get a chance. We conduct raids occasionally and then it stops for a few days. Then they are at it again after a few days,” the policeman said.
Although several policemen of the police station acknowledged the occurrence of such incidents, Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abdul Rashid denied it completely. “I have not heard of any such incidents on the flyovers in my area,” he said.
On the other hand, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner (Media and Public Relations) Walid Hossain said such criminals will be brought under the law.
“The reason for such incidents will be investigated. Legal action will be taken against anyone involved in these criminal activities,” he added.